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Communications The Media

First Video Broadcast From Mt. Everest Peak Outrages Tourist Ministry of Nepal 204

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the misapplication-of-the-law dept.
hutsell writes "On May 19th, Daniel Hughes spoke to BBC News live from the world's highest peak using his smartphone, making it the first live broadcast from Everest. (The actual video — showing the importance of oxygen along with his panoramic view — on the BBC page, is bookend with talking heads and a front-end advert.) However, since he and his team failed to get a commercial broadcast permit (costing about 2 grand) without the Nepali Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Aviation's knowledge, officials want to impose the penalty of having them banned from obtaining climbing permits for 10 years or from entering the country for 5 years. From the article, a quote from Dipendra Poudel, an official of the Ministry's mountain branch: 'The mountaineering rules say if you want to make a live telecast from the mountain, which is a restricted area, you have to get a permit first and inform us early about what you're going to do.' Those protesting against the decision feel the intent of the law is being misinterpreted; it's failing to keep up with the recent fundamental changes in technology. A permit that was meant to deal with ecological repercussions, doesn't seem to apply in this case. If it doesn't, is it really about disrespect, money, a tourism copyright angle, or all of the above? Then again, should the Nepal government ignore outsiders questioning their motives?"
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First Video Broadcast From Mt. Everest Peak Outrages Tourist Ministry of Nepal

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @08:12AM (#43839111)

    "It costs around $2,000 (£1,324) to get this permit."

    Wow, that's an expensive call. Time to stop complaining about Verizon's prices

    • Re:Expensive call (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @08:57AM (#43839425)

      "It costs around $2,000 (£1,324) to get this permit."

      It's nothing compared to the cost of a summit excursion: $70,000 to $100,000 [whatitcosts.com]. The dude should pay the fee and shut his mouth.

      • Why? Why should you pay a fee for this?
        • by RockDoctor (15477)

          Why should you pay a fee for this?

          Because the laws of the country that you're operating in (stepping over the fact that the actual summit defines part of the China-Nepal border ; or Tibet-Nepal, if you take your salted yak-butter chai that way) require you to do that, and the permit (i.e. contract) that you agreed to the terms of in order to be permitted to climb on the mountain, requires that you comply by those laws. Also, on entering most countries that I've entered, I've had to sign forms that amount to

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by sycodon (149926)

      Asshole bureaucrats are asshole bureaucrats all throughout the world.

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @08:13AM (#43839119) Homepage Journal

    While it might seem odd that one can't use their phone to hold a press conference from the top of the world, Nepal is the country which sets the rules.

    Don't like the rules, don't go to the country.

    It's like in Singapore where if you spit on the sidewalk, you will most likely get a ticket. You can't complain that you do it in your country so why can't you do it there.

    Their country, their rules.

    • by vettemph (540399) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @08:23AM (#43839179)

      I agree with following the rules.
      In a solidarity move, I would recommend everyone ban themselves from Mt. Everest for ten years. Don't travel to the country for five years.
      Nepal will have to change the rules if they want tourist to return any sooner. Let them choke on their rules.

      Some people get mad when rules a broken. Others get mad when rules are made.

      • by jrumney (197329) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @09:26AM (#43839637) Homepage

        Do you ban yourself from New York because of the $3500 fee they charge for filming in certain public buildings? Or is it just developing countries where you demand that all privileges be provided free for the Western tourists?

        • Do you ban yourself from New York because of the $3500 fee they charge for filming in certain public buildings?

          Maybe. Just point me to the articles detailing how NYC is hounding people to pony up for making video calls from the top of the empire state building. My indignation is ready to flow!

        • by steelfood (895457)

          Do you ban yourself from New York because of the $3500 fee they charge for filming in certain public buildings?

          Please do.

          Pretty please?

        • by BitterOak (537666)

          Do you ban yourself from New York because of the $3500 fee they charge for filming in certain public buildings? Or is it just developing countries where you demand that all privileges be provided free for the Western tourists?

          Does that $3500 fee apply to people who whip out their cell phone and make a short video for Vine?

        • by rastos1 (601318)

          You don't?

          I mean ... if it's either pony up $3500 or they don't want me there ... then it's a clear sign for me that they don't want me there. It' can't be any more clear.

      • by necro81 (917438)

        I would recommend everyone ban themselves from Mt. Everest for ten years

        Considering how overrun Everest is [nationalgeographic.com] these days, this would be the best thing to happen to the mountain.

    • by Threni (635302)

      The rules are about live broadcasting. This was a clip on YouTube. That's not live broadcasting. I think some people have a job they don't really understand.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @08:42AM (#43839271) Journal

      It's more of a 'their tourist trap, their rules' sort of thing.

      Complaining about the rules of a country(which, even in theoretically democratic and whatnot locations, can get rather unpleasant rather fast and can be a forceful imposition on a fair chunk of the citizenry) is a perfectly valid passtime. And, Nepal is hardly a poster child for high-quality governance services.

      Everest, though, is basically a high-altitude theme park. They charge admission(it's called a 'permit'; but it's essentially an 'Admit one to scenic Mount Everest' ticket), and the various concession stands have their own offerings on tap. Gosh, how horrid and shocking. Now they want to deny admission to somebody who didn't pay to have his picture taken at one of the photo kiosks. What a banal little dispute.

      • by yincrash (854885)
        If the BBC did a live broadcast to millions of people from inside Disney World without Disney's permission, Disney World would most definitely have a legitimate bone to pick with the BBC.
        • That was basically the analogy I had in mind. I am, as a rule, extremely suspicious of any set of 'oh-so-reasonable' regulations that would be useful in curtailing inconvenient reporters(and Nepal, with its somewhat delicate governance, recent history of insurgency, and poor transparency numbers, doesn't set the mind at ease); but in the context of a theme park(admittedly a rather majestic and mostly naturally occurring one), it's just hard to get too worked up about it.

          Is basically every fee inside a theme

      • by jittles (1613415)

        It's more of a 'their tourist trap, their rules' sort of thing.

        Complaining about the rules of a country(which, even in theoretically democratic and whatnot locations, can get rather unpleasant rather fast and can be a forceful imposition on a fair chunk of the citizenry) is a perfectly valid passtime. And, Nepal is hardly a poster child for high-quality governance services.

        Everest, though, is basically a high-altitude theme park. They charge admission(it's called a 'permit'; but it's essentially an 'Admit one to scenic Mount Everest' ticket), and the various concession stands have their own offerings on tap. Gosh, how horrid and shocking. Now they want to deny admission to somebody who didn't pay to have his picture taken at one of the photo kiosks. What a banal little dispute.

        Honestly, I don't think you are appreciating the dangers of climbing Mount Everest. It is not an easy or safe climb. If I were in charge of it, I would want to impose a fee on all visitors, too. If someone gets halfway up to the top and needs help, who foots the bill? The Nepal government. It's a serious hike and if charging a fee helps people understand that it is a serious hike, I'm all for it. How often do you hear about people activating emergency beacons in the US because they didn't pack enough w

    • Re::Their country, their rules

      Yep. I must agree with you. Especially since the USA seems to want to go to war with other countries and individuals about them breaking our laws in their countries (see copyright, Kim Dotcom, the Dmitri Skylarov case, kidnapping Manuel Noriega for breaking "our laws", and probably a million other things), it seems minimal to allow a country to fucking assert its own laws in its own sovereign territory.

      Their country, their rules. Though as to your comment about "You can't co

    • I suggest the community start immediately to build an open source Mt. Everest.
    • You present a straw man argument. No one was suggesting they can't pass whatever rules they want. The issue is that the rule is stupid.

      Most laws people disagree with, it's not a matter of "you can't pass that law," it's a matter of "You SHOULDN'T pass that law." Sometimes the objections do come in the form of "you can't pass it," but that's usually an excuse. The patriot act, for example. My objection to it isn't really that congress is unable to enact it legally. Were the supreme court to knock
    • by glassware (195317)

      Don't like the rules, don't go to the country.

      Whether or not it's okay for Nepal to decide on filming rights, please be careful about trotting out this meme.

      Mindless deference to authority - "You get to set the rules, I have to obey them or play with someone else" - is what leaves our society stagnant. If something is in fact a stupid rule, it will only get changed when enough people speak up.

      • I don't go to the USA, I'm a citizen and live here. Therefore, I figure I have the right to complain about the laws. I also have the rights, which I exercise, of voting for people I think will best support my positions, sending them messages of whatever form, and giving money to people who I think will help shape the laws my way.

        If I were to go to Nepal, I'd have no legitimate influence on the laws, and it would behoove me to obey them or not go there. If Nepal's a stagnant society, that's really thei

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @08:16AM (#43839135)

    People who ignore the rules rule the world, because it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Learn from this, kids: Life is not about following the rules, it's about what you can get away with.

    • by yincrash (854885)
      Try that in Singapore with pot.
      • by rvw (755107)

        People who ignore the rules rule the world, because it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Learn from this, kids: Life is not about following the rules, it's about what you can get away with.

        Try that in Singapore with pot.

        Well with pot, you shouldn't get away with (in Singapore)! You should smoke it!

    • by Theovon (109752)

      That's a very Confucian concept.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @08:18AM (#43839149)

    It's not really up to anyone outside Nepal to tell them how to change their laws, they're an independent nation. This isn't a human rights issue or something similarly abusive to a group of people.

    If they need you to get a broadcast permit, however ridiculous it seems, get a broadcast permit.

    That being said: Once you've peaked Everest - chances are a 10 year ban on climbing permits or not being able to go back to Nepal without some challenges.. OH NO! Guess the annual Everest peaking will be put off for this guy!

    • by kbolino (920292)

      It's not really up to anyone outside Nepal to tell them how to change their laws, they're an independent nation.

      If they're so independent, then surely they can withstand the criticism of outsiders? If it offends them so much, they can just ignore it.

      This isn't a human rights issue or something similarly abusive to a group of people.

      Unless you consider freedom of movement a right.

      If they need you to get a broadcast permit, however ridiculous it seems, get a broadcast permit.

      Except that the requirement was not clear before the fact. Capricious enforcement is in some ways worse than heavy handed but consistent enforcement.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They weren't in Nepal, they were on the other side of the mountain (and hence the other side of the border), in China.
    Sure, they entered China without permission, and so might get into trouble there...

    Alternatively, they could just say, "fuck you Nepalise stupid Maoist governments" and fund a revolution to bring about equality and freedom. Oh wait.

  • The BBC should know better and pay up it's not the first time they've done broadcasts from the summit (OK it's the first live broadcast) they must have had to get permits previously so why didn't they bother this time? The Nepalese Government should stick to their guns on this one. Their country their rules.
  • As someone who actually went to Nepal i can tell you that you will need permits for almost everything you do as a tourist.
    I guess i can't really blame them. They aren't the richest country and tourism is thier main source of income.

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Haas that always been the case? I'd think that such rules only kicked in once the Maoists came to power. Under the monarchy, they did not have such laws
  • A permit that was meant to deal with ecological repercussions ... is it really about disrespect, money, a ... copyright angle, or all of the above?

    The answer is yes, and it applies to virtually every government "permitting" process you can name that doesn't deal specifically with industrial development. It's already reached ludicrous proportions and it's only going to get worse. When they demand a permit (that you may or may not get) just to move a pile of dirt from one side of your residential yard to another, you know it's about more than some bogus "ecological repercussions" - that was just the foot in the door.

  • by TheMathemagician (2515102) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @09:17AM (#43839567)
    Nepal has never made a secret of the fact that it doesn't want hordes of Westerners climbing over its mountains. However rather than ban them they've decided to charge them through the nose and use the money to alleviate the environmental damage, provide some employment, and educate some kids. Nepal is relatively corruption-free (compared to India) and most of the $$$ does actually do some good. If you don't like it, don't go to Nepal.
    • Nepal is generally ranked as more corrupt than India; but it's still their theme park, and one that is arguably overcrowded even at the present price...(and you can always go up the other side, which is substantially cheaper, albeit rather more challenging)

    • by kbolino (920292)

      If you don't like it, don't go to Nepal.

      This idea seems to encapsulate the belief that everything in the world is perfect. Laws are never arbitrary, enforcement is perfectly consistent, and knowledge is uniform. In the reality we actually live in, the sentiment ought to be "if the Nepalese don't want people filming anything, they should tell them that at the summit, or else confiscate their equipment, or levy a fee prior to entry." If they're not going to be upfront about it, that ought to be considered their own fault.

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @09:20AM (#43839583)

    From this article, (well worth the read, BTW)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22680192 [bbc.co.uk]

    "Westerners can pay anything from $10,000 (£6,600) to $100,000 (£66,000) for permits to climb the mountain and guides to accompany them..."

    So, $2k extra seems modest. I'm sure this argument could be quickly solved by an apology and payment of the $2k retrospectively.

    Reminds me one time I was skippering a ship for some friends in the Caribbean; the mooring fees seemed pretty high to me, (just to tie up to a small buoy for the night; no other amenities).
    When I commented on this to the official, he said "you've got a yacht, you can afford it".
    I looked out of the window of his grubby shack at our (rented) 42' boat. Yeah, he was right.

    • by anethema (99553)

      What is funny is, and I'm sure you know this, many many cruisers are older people on VERY fixed incomes or simply depleting sailing kitties and for many the fees are exorbitant. Esp if you chose to use a catamaran!

      In many cases the people are very rich, but I'd go so far as to say in MOST cases that is simply not true. Many older couples have sold their houses are are sailing on their pensions/social security, plus a bit of savings.

  • by strangeattraction (1058568) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @09:42AM (#43839771)
    The Everest climb is one of the country's primary ways to raise revenue. Give them their money, the country has few was to raise it otherwise.
    • by iggymanz (596061)

      i'd go the other way, organize a boycott of climbers for a couple years. let the turds in the Nepal government know who is the bitch.

      • "The Everest climb is one of the country's primary ways to raise revenue. Give them their money, the country has few was to raise it otherwise."

        vs

        "i'd go the other way, organize a boycott of climbers for a couple years. let the turds in the Nepal government know who is the bitch."

        Well, I guess that pretty much summarizes this debate--consideration, common-sense and respect on one hand, with ego, bullying and vindictiveness on the other. This is the real issue at hand--our extreme capacity for divisiveness.

        D

  • I always wondered if I needed to climb Everest to get a decent connection. Now I know the answer.
  • and say that they most likely did not know the rules. That is such an outdated rule, that it is likely they did not even think twice - especially if they were using a smartphone. The government is most likely acting like this because its the BBC.

    That being said, as many other have pointed out, their country, their rules.

    You could always take the northern route from Tibet, but I have a feeling that the Chinese government would be harder on them than Nepal.

  • If you don't like the rules, change them.

    The four boxes should be used in order.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_boxes_of_liberty [wikipedia.org]

    There are cases when intentionally ignoring the rules is the right thing to do (see Rosa Parks). But that is always after first trying to get the rules changed.

  • by D1G1T (1136467) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @04:23PM (#43844155)
    Anybody who works in the media industry knows that if you are shooting/broadcasting/whatever on private property, you need permission and if you are on public property, you usually need a permit. This is true in Manhattan. It is true in Mumbai. Not doing this is called "stealing a location". Stealing from a country like Nepal that has trouble paying to keep it's power on more than 4 hours a day is pretty shameful.

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